Tuesday, 6 April 2010
The Fire Station
Painting's going well! Thanks to everyone who's reading my blog and posting comments - it's great to have your feedback.
More about my studio - my studio's in London, in a disused Fire Station built in 1911 for the GLC. It's in an industrial area of the city, near to the Olympic site. When the building first opened as a fire station a hundred years ago, there were horse-drawn fire engines there. The families of the firemen used to live upstairs too, so there's a real sense of history to the building.
There are five floors of studios, overlooking a courtyard on one side and the A12 motorway on the other. The building is just a short distance from Canary Wharf's gleaming towers which can be seen from the road, but it's a world away in every sense. Indeed, a friend visiting from New York remarked how similar the area felt to Long Island City, a similarly urban environment.
There are concrete floors in my studio on the ground floor, and it's freezing cold in winter. Yet it's the best studio I've had so far. I must say that the two studios I worked in when I lived in New York were some of the worst!
Twelve new artists are moving into the studios upstairs next week, and the decorators have been busy for several weeks getting their spaces ready. The residents upstairs change every five years. They live and work there, but my studio is a working space only - about 600 sq ft, with three big windows and a sky light. Four other artists have studios downstairs near me.
When I first left art school, I used to paint at home (not at the kitchen table, but in one of the rooms in my flat) but I soon realized that I prefer to have a separation between home and work. Everyone's practice is different.
I've posted a photo of my studio at the Fire Station above - it does not always look that tidy!